Listening to and amplifying the voices of marginalized people
By Manu Allard and John Guido
Last year, we produced and broadcast four messages as part of a values campaign which sought to update basic human values to contemporary culture using the communication tools of our time.
The common theme of these messages was the importance of listening to people who have been excluded or marginalized, one of L’Arche’s fundamental values.
In the next logical step of this campaign, we propose to focus on amplifying the voices of marginalized people. We believe that it’s not up to us to empower them, yet when they are listened to their voices have power. We have the responsibility to transmit their voices publicly so that their lived experience, ideas, and learning contribute to the process of global social reflection and action for change.
Future messages will highlight testimonies from socially vulnerable people, people with intellectual disabilities or other forms of disabilities or limitations.
A new step forward
We took time to reflect on new challenges and media issues before entering the second phase of our campaign.
One of the major challenges we face in delivering our social media messages is the significant changes Facebook has made to the visibility of its pages. This has dropped drastically due to the choice of new algorithms favouring the distribution of content published by individuals.
This means that if we want posts published on our pages to be visible, we have no choice but to pay to promote them, or we need to identify other distribution strategies. One possibility is to increase our presence in interest groups and forums.
Another aspect we need to consider is the standards for how long social media messages are viewed, which are constantly decreasing. On average, Internet users will rarely view more than two minutes of content on YouTube, just over one minute on Facebook and even less on Instagram. We have therefore realigned our communication strategy according to these new parameters.
A lively and diversified presentation
Each message consists of filmed sequences of testimonies enhanced with animation segments to illustrate the intensity of the experience of people marginalized by vulnerability. The multi-style approach is perfectly in line with new trends reflecting the diversity of perceptions and cultures to which we are now exposed.
A tribute to people
Each message pays tribute first to the person’s own expression, being respectful of his or her experience. Whether these messages relate a personal story or express a belief, the idea is to highlight and share the richness and diversity of these heartfelt testimonies.
A reminder of our campaign objectives
Together with our outreach partners, this campaign invites us to reassert what is needed to live with difference, create relationships and a sense of belonging, and help each person develop their own gifts and abilities. We seek to raise awareness among the general population of the values and skills that contribute to building more vibrant, diverse and inclusive communities.
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